The sun is shining, the days are stretching. Let’s celebrate by selling our home and buying a new one. Sheer madness, but it’s a ritual part of spring for many people. Spring is the time when you move house.
This year, I had to join them; selling the place we were living in and searching for another one more suitable for our daughters and their schools.
That’s where the torture began. To start with, we had to get our house ready for viewing. That meant hiring a skip to dispose of rubbish. We only moved in eighteen months ago, how could we have accumulated so much crap? After that, it was time for a mega clean up.
I made a couple of trips to IKEA, not to buy anything, but just to see how they arranged the various rooms so we could do the same with ours.
An hour before the first viewers arrived, I was still rushing around like a lunatic, washing dishes, shoving bondage ropes and riding crops under the bed, carefully arranging several copies of “The Pleasures of Winter” and the other Pleasures books around the house.
By the time it was ready, the house looked so good I couldn’t think a reason for selling it. This was perfect, we should stay here.
“You hate this house,” said my long-suffering husband. “Remember the Take-a-ticket queue for the bathroom every morning?”
Oh yes, sharing a single bathroom with a hair-conscious husband and three teenage daughters was the reason we were moving.
And while we were selling our house, we still had to look for a new one.
I’ve lost count of how many houses we’ve looked at in the last three months, but it’s amazing the number of different ways that people can arrange virtually the same space. I was impressed with one house that had a huge storage system in the hall by the front door. You walked in, and put away boots, bags, umbrellas and stuff as soon as you were out of the rain. The bedrooms were on the ground and first floor, so you could put away more stuff before getting to the open-plan living room on the top floor. I really liked that house, but it had only three bedrooms and we need four.
A development of new houses looked promising. The show house was beautifully laid out – until I realized there was no room for wet coats or school bags. My daughters each have a school bag, a PE bag, a Home-Ec bag and a science-lab bag. They all take up space when not at school.
The house in Donabate looked perfect, but it was too far away for the girls to get to their three different schools.
The city centre house was within walking distance of the main street and the train station. And five bedrooms! We could have guests. But it’s rented out to recovering drug addicts, so perhaps not, although it was spotlessly neat. One of the inmates told me proudly that he learned to clean like that in prison.
We put an offer on a house a mile away, four bedrooms, four bathrooms, a garden with room for drying clothes and all the bikes. The offer was accepted and we were getting ready to move in. Until the survey showed it had something else as well – marijuana grow house in the attic.
Oops, cue argument about whether the Criminal Assets Bureau or the bank has the biggest interest in that house.
And the search goes on…